The long-term benefits of migration

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Migration and its benefits in the long term
What are the bigger-picture benefits of multiculturalism? Are migrants useful to our society and to the business community? Jonar discusses the idea that we should close our borders and to limit who comes into our country. To listen to an excerpt from the radio broadcast, please click on the green play button below.


Here is a transcript of the audio file.

Host: Jonar we are talking about immigration and what benefits Australia has had through our migration policies.

Jonar Nader: The statistics today coming from the Labor party for example says that every new business that starts as a result of somebody coming from overseas, creates 5 jobs. So jobs are being created if business immigrants are coming here and the numbers by the way are increasing, apparently there was an increase in applications around 30 to 40 %. That is not because Australia is such a popular place but because the Olympics are creating opportunities, Hong Kong’s move had people thinking about coming here and setting up business, tax laws changing in overseas countries like Canada etc.

One of the benefits is in fact that we do have an increase in jobs. Now it is like weighing yourself on scales if you are trying to lose weight. If you weigh yourself everyday then you go into ups and downs and then you go into arguments about the ups and downs, but in the bigger picture, and we do need to look at the bigger picture, then bringing people into this country who have skills is a wonderful thing. Even those who don’t have skills have contributed marvellously by contributing to labour which we need. I have business people who tell me it is very hard for them to get people to do labouring work, because we are all so jolly well spoilt aren’t we.

Host: I know that was certainly the case when for instance BHP benefited from the influx of migration here in say the 50’s, the people who already lived here were able to move up one or two notches, the newly incoming people were the ones that did all the nasty jobs that the existing inhabitants didn’t want to do.

Jonar Nader: I dare say the opera house was built by Italians and Greeks and so was probably the Harbour Bridge but just because we are eating and we are full doesn’t mean that we should lock the fridge door. Just because now people are at an age where things are going quite nicely in Australia thank you very much, we want to shut it off. One would benefit from it now but our children will be disadvantaged because you are not allowing the same formula that we used in the last hundred years to re-exist if we are creating the notion that we don’t want people here.

Now are we saying we want criminals here? No, shut them at the door. Do we want corruption here? No, do something about it. Governments know where corruption exists it’s whose got the guts to get rid of it. So don’t carry on about people who come here bringing all sorts of corrupt ways about them, no way the people at our ports and our governments know what is happening they can deal with it they just don’t.

Host: Just thinking while we talk Jonar migration has been going since just after the days when we used to live in our own little valley in central England and you’d think of someone who came from the neighbouring valley as a migrant. So if you are going to talk about turning back the clock how far do we take it? Do we say we don’t want Queeenslanders in New South Wales or do we say we don’t want people from Sydney coming to the Hunter?

Jonar Nader: That’s right especially when our laws are so varied and I notice also with kids in the playground it used to be the Irish (supposedly Aussie kids) were teasing the Greeks, Lebanese and Italians. I remember that vividly and then just recently walking through a school yard I saw the Lebanese kids teasing the Asians would you believe. I mean what are we building here? Do we ever learn? We just need that level of tolerance to understand that when you go to the gym today it is not so that you wake up tomorrow morning with muscles it is so that you wake up in 5 months time with muscles and when you allow people into this country it is not so that tomorrow things are fantastic, it is so that in 50 years they are fantastic in the same way that over the last 50 years things have become fantastic. So, like it or not, we do need migrants for population reasons, for economic reasons, for social reasons and for reasons that I can’t even tell you. They create the environment for better things to happen, so long as the basic infrastructure of law and order is not disturbed and all the other nasty things don’t overtake us then no matter how many more people we allow into this country, I’m not saying open the flood gates and I’m not saying everybody is welcome, what I am saying is if you can contribute or we can help you a little bit; some people who come into this country can’t speak a word of English yet over time they become major contributors to this country.

Host: Well you yourself were unable to speak English when you got here from Lebanon weren’t you?

Jonar Nader: Yes absolutely, not a word of English and I hope that I have been, and continue to be, a contributor both to the taxation system and to the general society by creating jobs and other such things.

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